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At the northernmost point on Florida’s Atlantic Coast, separated from Georgia by the St. Mary’s River, lies Fort Clinch State Park, the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail’s northernmost gateway. This “must-see” park allows visitors to sample a wide spectrum of Florida’s bird species and habitats – from migratory songbirds in maritime forests, to salt marshes teeming with rails and wading birds, to beach and ocean with shorebirds and seabirds galore. The jetty is famous as a Purple Sandpiper hangout in winter. From the beach seabirds, Common Eider and all three scoter species can sometimes be observed offshore in winter. Target birds include Red-breasted Merganser, 2 species of Loons (Common & Red-breasted), Northern Gannet, Bonaparte's Gull, Harlequin Duck, other gulls, terns and sandpipers.
We will proceed to the Main Beach in Fernandina to see and photograph Black Skimmers at close range (if they are there). They cruise the island from Fort Clinch to Main Beach to Peter's Point and to Sliders. We can also scan the Egan's Creek Marsh north of Atlantic Blvd. and look for Seaside Sparrows. Dress warmly.
Meet at the entrance where the pier was.
Directions: From I-95 take Fernandina Beach, AIA exit east. Cross over Intracoastal Waterway following AIA and Fort Clinch signs. After crossing the bridge, it is approximately 5 miles. Directions from Hecksher Drive: At the Ferry the road becomes AIA North. Just follow AIA signs.
Fee: $6 per vehicle or use an Annual State Park Pass.